Automating Factory Resets on Android Devices via ADB

Automating Factory Resets on Android Devices via ADB

22 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When managing a large fleet of Android devices, the ability to perform batch operations can save a significant amount of time and effort. One common task that might need to be automated is performing a factory reset on multiple devices. This is particularly useful when preparing devices for a new deployment or clearing data for security reasons.

In this guide, we will walk through the process of performing a factory reset through the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), a versatile command-line tool that lets you communicate with an Android device.

Understanding the Recovery Command

The Android operating system includes a recovery partition that provides options to perform system updates and resets. It is possible to send commands directly to this recovery environment using ADB, which allows for automating the factory reset process.

The following command can be issued to initiate a factory reset:

adb shell
recovery --wipe_data

The --wipe_data flag instructs the device to erase all user data and cache, then reboot. This is equivalent to selecting the “Wipe data/factory reset” option in the recovery menu of most Android devices.

Step-by-Step Automation Process

  1. Ensure that ADB is properly installed on your computer. If you’re using a Mac, you may refer to our guide on setting up ADB on macOS.
  2. Connect the Android device to your computer via USB.
  3. Open a command prompt or terminal window.
  4. Enter the ADB shell environment using the command adb shell.
  5. Issue the factory reset command: recovery --wipe_data.
  6. Wait for the device to reboot and complete the factory reset process.

It’s important to note that this process will completely erase all data on the device, so ensure that you have backed up any necessary information before proceeding.

Compatibility Note

The specific commands available in the recovery environment can vary depending on the device and the recovery software installed. If you are using a custom recovery like ClockworkMod, the commands outlined above should still apply. However, it’s always a good idea to verify the available commands for your specific recovery environment.

For more advanced recovery commands, you can explore the files in /cache/recovery/command on the device or consult the source code of the recovery software, such as the one provided by CyanogenMod.

Integrating Repeato for Post-Reset Automation

After a factory reset, you may need to install a new ROM and additional APKs on the devices. This is where Repeato, our no-code test automation tool, can streamline the process. Repeato is designed to work with various app frameworks, including React Native, Flutter, and Unity, making it a versatile tool for post-reset setup.

With its built-in ADB functionality, Repeato allows you to execute ADB commands directly within the test automation scripts. This means you can automate the entire process of installing a new ROM, required APKs, and even validate the successful setup through automated UI tests, all within Repeato’s user-friendly interface.

Repeato’s use of computer vision and AI ensures that your tests remain robust and maintainable, even when UI elements change between versions. It’s a perfect companion for ensuring your devices are not only wiped clean but also set up correctly and ready for deployment.

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